Activities and Programmes

The Regional Environmental Master Plan

 

Objectives

 

The "Master Plan" addresses the Future Planning of how the Region will be fitted out with pollution and Navigational Hazards prevention and control capabilities, and to enhance Maritime Safety and Security Standards based on the future trade volumes and the possible hazards to the marine environment.

 

Main Advantages of the Master Plan

 

  • It will constitute a very essential tool on how to coordinate present and future activities.
  • It will enable the Member States, as well as ROPME/MEMAC, to avoid duplication in spending on facilities such as pollution control and navigation safety centers.
  • Its implementation can be self-financing through proper management of compensations and retrieval of pollution control costs.

 

Why?

 

  • Vast developments resulted from several projects in the Region are in progress, which cause a heavy stress on the Marine Environment and all the safety aspect.
  • Several Port expansions and Maritime Activities.
  • Tremendous increase in shipping traffic i.e. the number of vessels entered the Region was 41,000 in 2006 and it reached 47,000 in 2007.

 

Marine Environmental High Risk Areas (MEHRA's)

 

MEHRA's is one of the main and highly important projects which are under the process by MEMAC. A number of ROPME Member States' Experts and Experts from ANATEC Company, who have excellent experience in such types of projects, met on the 12th and 13th June 2005 in Bahrain. They launched the project after discussion and agreement upon each Committee Member's role.

 

Project Objectives

 

  • To identify areas within the ROPME Sea, this should be designated as Marine Environmental High Risk Areas.
  • To establish a tool kit i.e. GIS Model, which can be updated as new information on environmental sensitivity.

 

Marine Environmental High Risk Areas (MEHRA's)

 

The main issues tackled by MEHRA's are as follows:

  • Understanding of the risk of marine pollution to sea areas and coastlines in the Region and identifying areas of high risk.
  • Development of a database of shipping movements, which can be utilized to assess the risk or impact associated with future offshore developments taking place in the Region.
  • Development of a GIS system on all coastal environmentally sensitive areas, which can be used to keep information up to date for future environmental impact assessment being carried out in the Region.
  • Identification of areas of high environmental sensitivity.
  • Identification of Marine Environmental High Risk Areas for the Region based on pollution risk and environmental sensitivity.
  • Use of the system to identify where pollution response and traffic management measures require to be focused.
  • The system can be used for any of the Member States in the Region, applying to IMO for a Particularly Sensitive Area (PSSA).

 

Establishment of a Maritime Emergency Response and Salvage Co-ordination Unit (MERCU) System

 

As a result of the tremendous increase in the numbers of shipping traffic in the Region and increase of marine activities within the Region, the need for rising the Regional preparedness towards any incidents has become a must. Accordingly, the ROPME Council assigned a new project to revise and study the overall Regional marine traffic, activities and the present level of the preparedness and possible establishment of an Oil Spill Response and Salvage Coordination Unit System.

 

Objectives

 

  • Protect the Marine Environment.
  • Raise the Regional level of Preparedness.
  • Availability of Emergency Fund.
  • Availability of EEZ Oil Pollution Combating Principle.

 

Accidental Nuclear Radiation and Radiological Hazard in the ROPME Sea Area

 

The Radiation matter has become one of highly important matters since the use of radiation became popular in the Region where it is used in hospitals, oilfields and many other places. Many of the Members States are besides the planning of utilizing this technology for the future power plants. Accordingly, ROPME Council decided to step forward and plan for the future protection of the environment in case of any accident which may result from the use of radiation and radiological facilities. A Committee of Experts in the field has been formed in order to lay down the overall Regional emergency action plan.

 

Several Activities have been carried out by the Committee, including a meeting to discusses the issue, a Regional Workshop in cooperation with the IAEA, and a Workshop on Radiation Measurements Cross Calibration Project which was convened in cooperation with the University of Bahrain and Sandia National Laboratories of the United State of America. A visit to the Nuclear Power Plant in Bushehr and the laboratory facilities in Tehran was also carried out.

 

Radiation and Radiological Hazard in the ROPME Sea Area

 

In accordance with the ROPME Council Decision, a visit to the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria was carried out by Capt. A.M. Al Janahi, MEMAC Director, and Dr. Khalid M. Al-Otaibi (K. Saudi Arabia), Chairman of the Regional Committee for establishment of the Action Plan for Response to Radiological or Nuclear Emergencies during the period of 20th to 25th August 2008. The purpose of the visit was to seek the IAEA cooperation and to plan the future co-ordination and communication.

 

Several Activities have been carried out by the Committee, including a meeting to discusses the issue, a Regional Workshop in cooperation with the IAEA, and a Workshop on Radiation Measurements Cross Calibration Project which was convened in cooperation with the University of Bahrain and Sandia National Laboratories of the United State of America. A visit to the Nuclear Power Plant in Bushehr and the laboratory facilities in Tehran was also carried out.

 

Several programs were achieved during the visit, including the following.

 

  • The assurance of ROPME endorsement as an observer within the IAEA meetings.
  • Highlighting the IAEA Incident and Emergency Centre and its function where the Action Plan should include MEMAC as a Regional Centre similar to the IAEA Centre.
  • Registering MEMAC as a Regional Centre within the IAEA Incident and Emergency Centre.
  • Preparing all the details of the required assistance for the RSA Radiation Action Plan for Preparedness and Emergency.
  • And IAEA to provide MEMAC with the needed training courses.